Margaret Smyth (1834 – 1897), great great grandmother of my husband Greg, emigrated on the ‘Persian‘ to Australia from Ireland, arriving  in Melbourne, Victoria on 9 April 1854 with a baby born on the passage.

The passenger list records that Margaret Smyth was from Cavan. Her religion was Church of England; she could read and write; and she was 20 years old. She did not find a job immediately on landing, but went to stay with her cousin John Hunter. I am yet to find out more about John Hunter.

On 19 November 1855 Margaret Smyth, dressmaker from Cavan, aged 22, married John Plowright, also 22, a gold digger. Their wedding was held at the residence of John Plowright, in Magpie, on the Ballarat diggings, five miles or so from where Greg and I live now. On the certificate Margaret’s parents are given as William Smyth, farmer, and Mary nee Cox.

On documents Margaret usually gave her birthplace as Cavan. On her death certificate her birthplace was given by her adopted son Harold as Bailieborough, Cavan.

The ‘Ireland Valuation Books’ of 1838 have a William Smyth of Tanderagee Townland, Bailieborough Parish, Clankee Barony, County Cavan. This could be Margaret’s father.

More and more records are being digitised, so perhaps some useful documents will come to light. DNA connections also offer some tantalising clues but I have not yet found any definite Smyth cousins.

I hope we can visit Ireland one day, and Cavan will certainly be part of the trip. Before we go I hope I will have discovered more about Margaret Smyth’s family there.

Bailieborough is north-west of Dublin

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Wikitree: Margaret Smyth